Kiwifruit

What is Kiwifruit?

Kiwifruit, also known as kiwi or Chinese gooseberry, is a small fruit with brown fuzzy skin and bright green flesh with small black seeds in the center. It is native to China but is now grown in many parts of the world, including New Zealand, Italy, and Chile.

Kiwifruit has a sweet and tangy flavor and is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and dietary fiber. It is often eaten as a snack or used in salads, smoothies, and desserts. Kiwifruit can also be used as a natural meat tenderizer due to the enzyme actinidin found in it.

There are different varieties of kiwifruit, including the most common green kiwi and the less common gold kiwi, which have smooth skin and a sweeter taste than the green variety. Kiwifruit is a popular fruit around the world and is recognized for its nutritional benefits.

Kiwifruit Production in the World

China is the top country producing Kiwifruit in the world. As of 2022, China produced 2,380,304 tonnes of Kiwifruit, accounting for 52.44% of the total production. New Zealand is the world's second-largest Kiwifruit producer, with 603,523 tonnes, which represents 13.30% of the total production. In terms of Kiwifruit yield, New Zealand is the most productive country on the planet with 410,951. Italy, Greece, and Iran (Islamic Republic of) are the top three leading countries with '523,120', '320,270', '294,571', and '114,534' tonnes respectively. Bhutan has the lowest production of Kiwifruit in the world with only 26 tonnes in 2022. The world's total production of kiwifruit was estimated at 4,539,471 tonnes in 2022.

Source: FAOSTAT

Top 10 Countries by Kiwifruit Production in 2022

Top Countries by Production of Kiwifruit in 2022

Rank Country production(Tonnes) acreage(Hectare) Yield
1
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China
2,380,304199,078119,566
2
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New Zealand
603,52314,686410,951
3
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Italy
523,12024,040217,604
4
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Greece
320,27013,560236,187
5
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Iran (Islamic Republic of)
294,5719,910297,246
6
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Chile
114,5346,638172,543
7
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Türkiye
100,7724,219238,853
8
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Portugal
52,9203,520150,341
9
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France
47,1203,930119,898
10
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United States of America
33,1101,943170,407
11
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Spain
27,3801,690162,012
12
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Japan
19,7471,707115,679
13
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Republic of Korea
8,308534155,554
14
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Israel
8,000264303,030
15
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Australia
2,418154157,248
16
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Georgia
1,70075226,667
17
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Montenegro
50025200,033
18
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Kyrgyzstan
40940102,058
19
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Switzerland
37730125,667
20
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Cyprus
15010150,000
21
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Bulgaria
802040,000
22
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Slovenia
702035,000
23
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Tunisia
34655,224
24
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Canada
28474,522
25
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Bhutan
261255,840

Cultivation of Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is a subtropical fruit that requires a specific climate and soil conditions for cultivation.

Here are some general steps for cultivating kiwifruit:

  1. Climate: Kiwifruit requires a mild subtropical climate with warm summers and cool winters. The ideal temperature range for kiwifruit growth is between 15°C and 25°C. Frost-free areas are also important as frost can damage the vines.
  2. Soil: Kiwifruit prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The pH of the soil should be between 5.5 and 6.5. Soil testing can help to determine the nutrient content of the soil and identify any necessary soil amendments.
  3. Planting: Kiwifruit is usually grown from grafted vines, which are planted in late winter or early spring. Vines should be spaced about 3 to 4 meters apart in rows.
  4. Training and trellising: Kiwifruit vines require support from a trellis or other structure to grow properly. They are trained onto a T-shaped trellis or pergola system, which allows the vines to grow horizontally and maximizes fruit production.
  5. Fertilization and irrigation: Kiwifruit requires regular fertilization and irrigation to thrive. Fertilizers should be applied in the spring and summer, and irrigation should be provided during dry periods.
  6. Pest and disease management: Kiwifruit is susceptible to several pests and diseases, including vine weevils, mites, and bacterial cankers. Integrated pest management practices, including biological control and chemical treatments, can be used to manage these issues.

Kiwifruit requires regular fertilization and irrigation to thrive. Fertilizers should be applied in the spring and summer, and irrigation should be provided during dry periods.

Health Benefits of Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit offers several health benefits due to its rich nutritional profile. Here are some of the potential health benefits of consuming kiwifruit:

  1. High in Vitamin C: Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, collagen production, wound healing, and antioxidant protection against free radicals.
  2. Digestive Health: Kiwifruit contains a significant amount of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. This fiber content can help promote regular bowel movements, prevent constipation, and support overall digestive health.
  3. Antioxidant Properties: Kiwifruit is packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and various phytonutrients. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases.
  4. Heart Health: The fiber content, along with potassium and antioxidants in kiwifruit, can be beneficial for heart health. Fiber helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, while potassium supports proper blood pressure regulation.
  5. Eye Health: Kiwifruit contains nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health. These nutrients help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and promote overall eye health.
  6. Skin Health: The high vitamin C content in kiwifruit plays a vital role in collagen synthesis, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Additionally, the antioxidants in kiwifruit help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
  7. Weight Management: Kiwifruit is relatively low in calories and high in fiber, which can contribute to feelings of fullness and help manage weight by reducing excessive calorie intake.
  8. Blood Sugar Regulation: The fiber content in kiwifruit can help slow down the digestion and absorption of sugars, resulting in a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. This makes kiwifruit a suitable choice for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage blood sugar levels.

It's important to note that while kiwifruit offers numerous health benefits, individual needs, and dietary considerations may vary. It is always recommended to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into a balanced diet for optimal nutrition and health benefits.

Nutritional Information of Kiwifruit

The following nutritional information is based on an average serving size of 100 grams of kiwifruit:

  • Calories: 61
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 3 milligrams
  • Potassium: 312 milligrams
  • Vitamin C: 92.7 milligrams (155% of the daily recommended intake)
  • Vitamin K: 41.0 micrograms
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 milligrams
  • Folate: 25 micrograms
  • Calcium: 34 milligrams
  • Iron: 0.3 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 17 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 34 milligrams
  • Zinc: 0.1 milligrams

Please note that these values may vary slightly depending on the specific variety and ripeness of the kiwifruit.

Regional Variety of Kiwifruit

Various regional varieties of kiwifruit have distinct characteristics and are cultivated in different parts of the world. Here are a few examples:

  1. Hayward Kiwifruit: This is the most common variety of green kiwifruit, known for its fuzzy brown skin and bright green flesh. It originated in New Zealand and is now grown globally. Hayward kiwifruit is versatile and can be eaten fresh, sliced, and added to fruit salads, blended into smoothies, or used in desserts like pies, tarts, and cakes.
  2. Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit: Also known as Gold Kiwifruit, Zespri SunGold is a popular variety developed in New Zealand. It has smooth, bronze skin and golden flesh. This variety is sweeter and less tart compared to green kiwifruit, with a tropical flavor. Zespri SunGold kiwifruit is typically eaten fresh, sliced, or added to fruit salads. It can also be used in smoothies, jams, and sorbets.
  3. Actinidia arguta Varieties: Baby kiwifruit, or kiwi berries, belong to the Actinidia arguta species. Various regional varieties of Actinidia arguta are cultivated in different parts of the world, including the United States, Europe, and Asia. These small, smooth-skinned kiwifruits are usually eaten whole, without peeling, making them convenient for snacking. They can also be used in salads, added to yogurt or cereal, and incorporated into baked goods.
  4. Red Kiwifruit (Actinidia melanandra): Red kiwifruit is a specialty variety that originated in China and is cultivated in regions like New Zealand, Italy, and the United States. It has a reddish-brown fuzzy skin and red or maroon flesh. The flavor is sweeter and milder compared to green kiwifruit, with berry undertones. Red kiwifruit is typically eaten fresh or used in fruit salads and desserts.

These are just a few examples of regional kiwifruit varieties and their uses. It's worth exploring the kiwifruit varieties available in your specific region, as local varieties may have unique qualities and culinary applications.

Structure of Kiwifruit

The kiwifruit has a distinctive structure, consisting of several layers:

  1. Outer skin: The outer skin of the kiwifruit is brown and fuzzy and is not typically eaten. It is removed before consuming the fruit.
  2. Flesh: The flesh of the kiwifruit is bright green and has a soft, juicy texture. It is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. The flesh also contains small black seeds that are edible but are usually not consumed.
  3. Core: The core of the kiwifruit is located in the center of the fruit and is also not typically eaten. It is a small, hard section that contains seeds.
  4. Stem end: The stem end of the kiwifruit is the point where the fruit was attached to the vine. It is typically removed along with the skin before consuming the fruit.

The kiwifruit has a unique and recognizable structure, with fuzzy brown skin, bright green flesh, and small black seeds.

Types of Kiwifruit

There are several types of kiwifruit, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common types of kiwifruit are:

  1. Green Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa): This is the most widely recognized variety of kiwifruit. It has a fuzzy brown skin and bright green flesh. The flavor is sweet and tangy, with a hint of tropical notes. Green kiwifruit is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.
  2. Gold Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis): Also known as yellow kiwifruit, gold kiwifruit has a smooth, bronze skin with golden flesh. It is sweeter and less tart than green kiwifruit, with a tropical flavor reminiscent of mango or pineapple. Gold kiwifruit is also high in vitamin C and dietary fiber.
  3. Baby Kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta): Baby kiwifruit, also called kiwi berries or mini kiwis, are smaller in size compared to green or gold kiwifruit. They have a smooth, edible skin and a sweet-tart flavor. Baby kiwifruit is usually eaten whole, without peeling, and they are also a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
  4. Red Kiwifruit (Actinidia melanandra): Red kiwifruit is a less common variety with a reddish-brown fuzzy skin and red or maroon flesh. The flavor is sweeter and milder than green kiwifruit, with some hints of berry notes. Red kiwifruit is also rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.

It's worth noting that availability may vary depending on your location, as some kiwifruit varieties are more prevalent in certain regions. Additionally, there are other lesser-known or hybrid varieties of kiwifruit, but the ones mentioned above are the most widely cultivated and recognized.

Uses of Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit has a variety of uses in cooking, as well as potential health benefits.

Here are some of the uses of kiwifruit:

  1. Eating fresh: Kiwis can be eaten fresh as a healthy snack or added to fruit salads.
  2. Smoothies and juices: Kiwis can be blended into smoothies or juiced for a refreshing and nutritious beverage.
  3. Baking: Kiwis can be used in baking, such as in cakes, muffins, or bread, to add a sweet and tangy flavor.
  4. Topping for yogurt or cereal: Kiwis make a delicious topping for yogurt or cereal, adding both flavor and nutrition.
  5. Meat tenderizer: The enzymes in kiwis can help to tenderize meat, making it more tender and juicy.
  6. Digestive aid: Kiwis are rich in fiber and enzymes that can help aid digestion and promote gut health.
  7. Potential health benefits: Kiwis are believed to have potential health benefits, such as improving immune function, reducing inflammation, and supporting heart health.

Kiwifruit is a versatile and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.